Going Back Home for Lantern Festival Celebrations

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Both Lunar New Year’s Eve and Lunar New Year are the most important turning points in the entire lunar year, but just as important in my hometown, the Chaoshan Rigion, is the lantern festival taking place half month after.

if the reunion dinner on the luner new year’eve is a way to keep bonds tight within family members, the variaty of celebrations holding across the Chaoshan countrysides is how traditional customs and filial piety are passed down to generations and generations.

the lantern festival takes place on the 15th day of the first lunar month, which falls on Feb 24th this year. on the night before, man in every household will go to an ancestral temple to pay respect to the deity called Laoye in our villiage, and this rite usually takes place at round 11PM, the offerings usually include a whole chicken, a whole duck, a fish, steamed pork & pig liver.

a simillar ancestral worshipping ritual will be held at home in the morning on the day of lantern festival, with offerings of food, joss paper and dishes that will then be served on the feast after the ceromony.

as the sun going down at dusk, the younger generations male villegers are preparing one of the most important festivities, Diety Parade & Sprint aka Zaolaoye in Chaoshan dialect. the activity takes place in the oringal compounds where the villager’s forebeers used to live in.

drums, lanterns, gongs, a censer will be held by the participants and with two people carrying the Laoye idol on a sedan chair on their shoulders, all of them get in line in order inside an alleyway and when they walk close to the exit, they sprint off of it to another. fireworks and firecrackers setting off wave after wave all night long.

on the next day, which is percevied as the biggest day of the entire lunar year by many villagers nowdays, as the biggest Diety Parade will be held on that day. the traditional folk dancing called Yingge Dance will perform, follwing by a long line of the younger generations in the village who are holding drums, lanterns and gongs, but what’s most important in the parade, it’s the Laoye idol sitting in the sedan chair carrying by the male villagers who have new born baby boy in the previous lunar year and the Liangma idol by those who got married.

being the most celebrated festival by the people in Chaoshan Rigion, the lantern festival attracts many villagers who are working in the cities to come back for the celebrations. by joining in the parade and holding various festivities and rituals, we are praying to Laoye for good health, auspiciousness and good fortune in this new lunar year.

and this is the official ending of the lunar new year celebrations for the majority villages in the Chaoshan area.

About James

Founder of Gatherdeep.com, bootstrap business owner with 8 years experience in manufacturing and sourcing consumer eletronics products

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